The best books to hack your career that aren’t boring career books

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a 30-year veteran who has achieved success in three industries: Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood. I rose to the top of Wall Street, arguably one of the most grueling professional work environments in the world. I want to share the tips that helped me reach financial success with anyone who feels disadvantaged in the corporate game (i.e., women, people of color). My book leans heavily on research into cognitive biases and human nature, but focuses almost exclusively on actionable ideas. It is high on practical, often offbeat, tactics with an emphasis on gamesmanship, and is accessible to any reader, working at any job, due to its humorous, irreverent, satirical tone.


I wrote...

The Way of the Wall Street Warrior: Conquer the Corporate Game Using Tips, Tricks, and Smartcuts

By Dave Liu, Adam Snyder,

Book cover of The Way of the Wall Street Warrior: Conquer the Corporate Game Using Tips, Tricks, and Smartcuts

What is my book about?

The Way of the Wall Street Warrior is an insider's irreverent, acerbic guide on how to use gamesmanship to get hired, get ahead, and survive on Wall Street, on Main Street, any other highly competitive environment. 

The book sold almost 10,000 copies in the first two weeks of launch and was cited by Bloomberg as one of the best books of 2021. It ranked as Amazon's Top #1 Hot New Release in two categories: business finance and economics. The tactics described for getting in the door and rising to the top of the food chain apply whether you spend 18 hours a day in a dog-eat-dog office sitting two steps from your nearest colleague, or if you're working from home because of the pandemic.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Dave Liu Why did I love this book?

This book will give you Nobel-prize-winning insight into why people do the things they do.

If you want to get ahead in the corporate game, you need to master the art of understanding what motivates people so that you can build incentives for them to do what you want them to do for you. 

I wish I knew this early in my career because it would have helped me save a lot of time. Instead of using trial and error, using the insights in this book, I would have been able to get to the heart of peoples’ behaviors sooner.

Hack your career by reading this book!

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

41 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…


Book cover of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Dave Liu Why did I love this book?

People, which includes your boss, do stupid and seemingly irrational things all the time.

Like not promoting you when you so richly deserve it! ;-) By reading this book, you’ll have a much better understanding of why people do things that seem illogical.

It will teach open your mind and help you better understand the behavior of your boss, co-workers, and underlings.

In time, you will master how to get them to help you in your career!

By Dan Ariely,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Predictably Irrational as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do smart people make irrational decisions every day? The answers will surprise you. Predictably Irrational is an intriguing, witty and utterly original look at why we all make illogical decisions.

Why can a 50p aspirin do what a 5p aspirin can't? If an item is "free" it must be a bargain, right? Why is everything relative, even when it shouldn't be? How do our expectations influence our actual opinions and decisions?

In this astounding book, behavioural economist Dan Ariely cuts to the heart of our strange behaviour, demonstrating how irrationality often supplants rational thought and that the reason for…


Book cover of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Dave Liu Why did I love this book?

As someone who went through tremendous hardship early in life, I can attest to the power of grit and resiliency.

This book does a great job highlighting one of the key superpowers I developed which propelled me in my career: developing thick skin!

Reading this book will help you develop strategies for how to do this for yourself!

By Angela Duckworth,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

UNLOCK THE KEY TO SUCCESS

In this must-read for anyone seeking to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth takes us on an eye-opening journey to discover the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement. Winningly personal, insightful and powerful, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that - not talent or luck - makes all the difference.

'Impressively fresh and original' Susan Cain


Book cover of How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dave Liu Why did I love this book?

So much of your career depends on building allies and deflecting enemies.

Even though this book is almost 90 years old(!), it has so many basic ideas that are still true today. As its title says, it will help you win friends and influence people!

But don’t just read it. Practice it!

By Dale Carnegie,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked How to Win Friends and Influence People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Millions of people around the world have - and continue to - improve their lives based on the teachings of Dale Carnegie. In How to Win Friends and Influence People Carnegie offers practical advice and techniques, in his exuberant and conversational style, for how to get out of a mental rut and make life more rewarding.

His advice has stood the test of time and will teach you how to:
- make friends quickly and easily
- increase your popularity
- win people to your way of thinking
- enable you to win new clients and customers
- become a…


Book cover of The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50

Dave Liu Why did I love this book?

The Happiness Curve is a fabulous exploration of the science of happiness, its natural highs and lows, and how individuals can navigate the midlife slump to find greater satisfaction and purpose in life.

This is a book that will help put everything into perspective. It will help you figure out what makes people happy and why that changes over time. By learning its secrets, perhaps you can find happiness too!

By Jonathan Rauch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Happiness Curve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"In this warm, wise, and witty overview, Jonathan Rauch combines evidence and experience to show his fellow adults that the best is yet to come.” ―Steven Pinker, bestselling author of Enlightenment Now

This book will change your life by showing you how life changes.

Why does happiness get harder in your 40s? Why do you feel in a slump when you’re successful? Where does this malaise come from? And, most importantly, will it ever end?

Drawing on cutting-edge research, award-winning journalist Jonathan Rauch answers all these questions. He shows that from our 20s into our 40s, happiness follows a U-shaped…


You might also like...

Saving Raine

By Marian L Thomas,

Book cover of Saving Raine

Marian L Thomas

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Saving Raine is a captivating tale of resilience, redemption, and the enduring power of love, penned by the acclaimed author Marian L. Thomas.

This contemporary fiction novel chronicles the compelling journey of Raine Reynolds as she confronts heartache, betrayal, and loss. Against the vibrant backdrops of Atlanta and Paris, Raine's story unfolds as she grapples with the aftermath of her husband's infidelity and tragic passing.

Through poignant prose and compelling characters, "Saving Raine" delves into themes of forgiveness, healing, and the strength discovered in confronting life's greatest challenges. Readers will be captivated by Raine's emotional odyssey as she unearths hope, redemption, and the courage to embrace a brighter future.

Saving Raine

By Marian L Thomas,

What is this book about?

Raine Reynolds stands at the crossroads of despair and opportunity.
 
When the life you've built crumbles and the past refuses to release its grip, sometimes you need a fresh start-a new beginning that promises hope and redemption.
 
Once a celebrated author, Raine's life unraveled, sending her fleeing to the picturesque streets of Paris to escape the tormenting heartache that threatened to consume her. Yet, no matter how far she traveled, the pain remained her unwelcome companion.
 
Returning to bustling Atlanta as a senior VP for an ad agency, Raine is forced to confront a city steeped in…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in decision making, success in life, and entrepreneurs?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about decision making, success in life, and entrepreneurs.

Decision Making Explore 81 books about decision making
Success In Life Explore 243 books about success in life
Entrepreneurs Explore 286 books about entrepreneurs